HEBRON, KY (FOX19) - Outgoing Kenton County Judge-Executive Steve Arlinghaus is urging Northern Kentucky legislators to not strip the county of its control over our region's international airport.
Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen in August called for an overhaul of the controversial airport board that oversees Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
Citing what he calls financial waste and abuse of power by the current board, Edelen wants to overhaul it and give a say to representatives from other counties in Northern Kentucky and in Ohio.
He proposed an 11-member board with three appointments from Kenton County, two from Boone County, one from Campbell County, two from Kentucky's governor, one from Ohio's governor, one from Cincinnati's mayor and one from Hamilton County.
It's important, Edelen has said, that other areas of the region have some say in how the airport is run because so many people who fly in and out of CVG live in Ohio.
But Arlinghaus, who appoints all voting members, argues that makeup would be illegal.
He outlines his argument against such a move in a tersely worded Oct. 8 letter to members of the Northern Kentucky Legislative Caucus. He wants them to understand, review and support the current airport power structure.
[Read the entire letter here:
"I think the next step is we need to make sure our legislators know the reality of this whole make-up of the board, and the fact of the matter this airport is owned by Kenton County taxpayers," he told FOX19 NOW in an interview. "The auditor has talked about putting Ohioans on there as part owners or voting members of this board, giving Ohio, for example, three seats. But what the auditor doesn't understand is that it's against the Kentucky Constitution to do that."
Kenton County also foots the bill for the airport, Arlinghaus stressed in his letter. He said he offered leaders in both Boone and Hamilton counties the opportunity to buy a stake in CVG, but both turned him down.
"They wanted a stake for FREE," he wrote.
Kenton County doesn't receive any direct financial contribution for owning the airport, he added.
"It is owned by Kenton County taxpayers whether people like it or not," he wrote.